Dredging the Macclesfield

Published: Monday, 22 May 2017

I AM afraid that Helen Cripps is going to be disappointed if she believes that CaRT is going to dredge the bridges of the Macclesfield Canal, writes, T. Lang.

She writes that she understands that the canal is to be dredged at last, but I have seen no notice of this, though I tend to make it my business to read such notices. If it has come from John Dodwell, who wants us all to believe that there are 440,000,000 or 460,000,000, (or how much more it has now increased) visits to the waterways every year, she had better take it with a very large pinch of salt.


I was pleased that Victor gave us his own interpretation of the condition of the lack of dredging on that canal, and can but agree with him that is is diabolical, and in addition to myself I know of others who no longer use it with deep draughted boats, as like me, they have been grounded too many times, and as to the bridges, the silt has been piled up against and under the bridges for so many years that like Helen's boat, many have virtually been brought to a standstill.

Speeding Lancaster369The problem is the lack of dredging is a vicious circle, as when the canal is shallow it means the wake from boats brings even more silt in from the far bank, making it worse, so I expect it will not be too long before CaRT blames the boaters for travelling too fast, not of course realising with a shallow canal you cannot travel too fast—there is not enough water.

The picture shows the narrowboat Grace at full speed on the Lancaster Canal, the crew having little care for the off-side of the waterway.